Stratford, CT – November 12, 1942

Stratford, Connecticut – November 12, 1942

P-47C Thunderbolt
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On November 12, 1942, U.S. Army Captain Robert K. Noel, 23, was piloting a P-47C Thunderbolt, (41-6171), on a test flight over the Stratford area.  He’d been tasked with testing a new radio antenna mast which had been installed on the aircraft, and to see if it would tear away at high speeds.   He began a steep dive towards the ground from about 15,000 feet, and according to witnesses the plane never came out of the dive, and exploded on impact.

     Noel was from Beckley, West Virginia, and was engaged to be married to a Bridgeport woman in four days.  On the day he crashed, he had gone to Bridgeport Probate Court to obtain a waver of the state’s five-day waiting period.


     New York Times, “Army Pilot Dies In Crash”, November 13, 1942.

     Book, “Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents In The United States, 1941-1945”, By Anthony J. Mireles, C. 2006  

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